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Lisa Dreyer Upped to Full-Time Fantastic Fest Director (Exclusive)



Alamo Drafthouse’s Fantastic Fest has made a familiar face, festival director Lisa Dreyer, the full-time overseer of the genre event’s creative direction and operations.

“I am unbelievably excited to continue my work as festival director, and expand Fantastic Fest’s footprint throughout the year” Dreyer said in a statement on news of her promotion. She joined Fantastic Fest last year as festival director on a freelance contract, and moving to full-time comes ahead of the 18th edition in Austin, Texas planned from Sept. 21 to 28, 2023.

The Alamo Drafthouse’s next gorefest will celebrate the 1980’s fascination with the occult, which spawned pop culture phenomena like Freddy Krueger, heavy metal music and the Satanic Panic. Fantastic Fest, as it returns to the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar cinema for the 2023 edition, will also become a specialized competitive festival.

That follows the biggest US genre festival receiving accreditation from the International Federation of Film Producers Associations to join the ranks of Cannes, Berlin, Karlovy Vary and Venice. “We are delighted to welcome Fantastic Fest, which has been recognized by the industry as a key platform for genre films in the United States,” Luis Alberto Scalella, FIAPF president, said in a statement.

Fantastic Fest annually showcases horror, fantasy, science fiction, and other boundary-pushing genre films from around the world. Dreyer and her team are also looking to expand the festival’s year-round presence with Alamo Drafthouse events nationwide. Before becoming festival director, Dreyer served as a programmer for Fantastic Fest and handled acquisitions for Drafthouse Films.

“To watch Lisa’s rapid rise from watching screeners just six years ago to now helming the festival has been fabulously exciting,” Fantastic Fest founder Tim League said in his own statement.

Fantastic Fest will be making genre cinema programming announcements for the 2023 festival – including world premieres, special guests and events – in the coming months.

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